With a firm grounding in the farm’s rich heritage, yet with an eye to innovation, the Babylonstoren Farm Shop is a reflection of our contemporary, unhurried farm lifestyle. Directed by the ever-changing tapestry and seasonal abundance of our garden, the preparation of our fine living products starts long before you walk through the door. Each item is a labour of love that is nurtured by skilled hands and brought to life by the thoughtful selection of materials and ingredients, many of which are created on the farm itself. Some of our most successful items have happened by chance – through a process of testing and learning as well as listening to our most valued customers. Visitors to Babylonstoren can enjoy the products in our restaurants and also buy them in our Farm Shop or online.
Every day our bakers arrive before the crack of dawn to conjure up loaves of bread to serve at Babel, to sell in the Farm Shop and for sandwiches served at the Greenhouse. Only the best stoneground flour, with no chemicals or preservatives, is used. Naturally fermented sourdough is used to leaven the bread, which not only enhances the taste but also adds to the nutritional value. The loaves in the Bakery reflect what is happening in the garden – we like using beetroot, spinach, pumpkin and pear to enhance our bread’s flavour and visual appeal.
When the Dutch settlers arrived in South Africa in the 17th century, they brought with them recipes to cure and preserve meat. What began as a necessity turned into a much-loved delicacy. For our biltong, droëwors and boerewors we strictly use traditional South African recipes, while Italian principles are followed for curing and charcuterie. We also make smoked bacon and offer premium cuts of aged Chianina beef, an age-old Italian breed of cattle. Our maturation room is lined with Himalayan salt tiles and operates at exactly 6°C. The salt helps to evaporate excess water and, since fresh meat has a high water content, this serves to concentrate and enhance the flavour.
Our cheesemaker honed her skills in Italy and tries to stay as close to these traditional methods as possible. We specialise in unaged cheese, using the best quality full cream Jersey milk, and make fresh fior di latte by hand every day. Other cheeses from our larder include feta, halloumi and our favourite ‘hang op’ yoghurt cheese. Halloumi, one of our most popular cheeses, started life as a by-product because its whey makes the most delicious and crumbly ricotta by far. Guests are welcome to watch our cheesemakers in action through the glass door at the back of the Farm Shop.
In the same 18th-century building that originally housed the blacksmith, stables and waenhuis (wagon house), we have the Lekker Room – a tantalising space of flavours where we roast almonds, macadamias and pecan nuts. Other irresistible reasons to drop by include steaming coffee and vegan fudge, four different types of chocolate, sweet and savoury granola, citrus and almond rusks and everything in between. The Afrikaans adjective "lekker" means tasty or describes anything fun or pleasurable. And the noun "lekker" refers to sweets (candy).
Our captivating Scented Room, located in The Barn, is a quiet oasis where guests are mesmerised by the lingering scents of waterblommetjies, roses, fynbos and many more. The images and scents of the garden are captured in our soaps, candles, bath oils and linen cloth. Make your own scrub and mask or learn the process of making essential oils.